When you're in a long-term relationship, having thoughts of infidelity is not at all abnormal — and it doesn't automatically make you a bad person. Being in an exclusive relationship doesn't make you immune to developing crushes or being attracted to other people, but it does change how you approach those kinds of thoughts. It can be scary to have thoughts of cheating, but it doesn't mean your relationship is doomed: there are steps you can take to reflect and refocus on your relationship with your partner.
"It is perfectly normal to have straying eyes and thoughts after you have been in a long-term relationship for some time," Shane Birkel, LMFT, tells Bustle. "Part of the reason this happens is that couples get swept up in their day to day lives and forget to make their relationship a priority. In the beginning there is a lot more excitement, novelty, and a sense that life is changing for the better. After being with a partner for a long time it is typical to feel bored, stuck, and to desire something more exciting. We take it for granted that having a good relationship takes work and in order to build the life we want, we have to make an effort."
"There is nothing wrong with thinking about cheating. Taking action on those thoughts is something that can drastically change your life though."
Although you're the only person who can say what the right decisions are when it comes to your love life, it's worth your time to examine what might be behind any thoughts of cheating you're having. Instead of making a rash decision, follow these seven steps the next time you start to seriously consider cheating on your partner.